When the Harvey Weinstein story broke, I heard whispers about Louis CK that were vague in nature. That he was ‘one of them’. That he had done things to female comics. Tig Notaro, on of my favorite comics in the world, distanced herself from him, saying he needed to deal with the accusations. When I finally found out what they were, my stomach sank. Before I get into the actual allegations, let me tell you, five years ago, I would have thought, “Oh no. Not Louis CK. Please don’t let it be true.” He was one of my favorite comics. I laughed uproariously at his stories, even when they made me uncomfortable as well. Uncomfortable because they were too close to the truth. I quoted him all the time because I could always find the relevant Louis CK story. I’ve seen almost all his specials, and I thought he was hilarious. Yes, he was a sad sack, but he mined it for his comedy. Five years ago, I would have had a hard time accepting that he had done what he was accused of. I would have accepted it, of course, but it would have been a struggle.
This time, however, when I read about it, my immediate response was, “That sucks. He’s off the list.” I didn’t talk about it because I needed to process it, but I believed that he did exactly what he was accused of doing. Specifically, that he asked lesser-known female comics/actresses if he could undress and masturbate in front of them because it’s such a fucking pathetic thing to do. I saw a woman tweeting about it once the story broke, and a man wrote back that it’s terrible, but there has to be a line between abuse and harassment, and where’s that line? It was a bad time to ask that question, and it was directed at the wrong person, but the question itself is not terrible. It was asked by a huge Louis CK fan who was struggling with the stories and didn’t know what to do with them.
The question was genuine, and it’s not terrible, but it’s irrelevant in the court of common opinion. Or rather, in the court of MY opinion. Yes, it may not be objectively as *bad* as what Harvey Weinstein did, but I don’t give a shit. I’m tired of powerful men preying on vulnerable people (mostly women, but there are stories of men being abused, too. More and more so, sadly), and right now, I have a zero tolerance policy. If I hear of a celebrity/politician being a sexual predator, he is off the list. Conservatives are trying to ‘but what about’ with Roy Moore, and Ann Coulter, bless her heart, tweeted that JFK was 45 when he had an extra-marital affair with a 19-year-old. She addressed the tweet to ‘Hey Dems!’ like she had a gotcha moment. The response was swift and mocking, ranging from, “Well! I’m not voting for JFK, either, then” to my own, “She does know JFK is dead, right? Bless her heart.”
The thing, though, is that Dems aren’t defending Weinstein’s behavior. In general, Democrats are much harsher on predators within our midst than are Republicans. Some Republicans are frantically defending a thirty-five year old man’s right to prey on teenage girls as young as 14, which is disgusting, but not surprising. There are a bunch of politicos (white dudes. They’re mostly white dudes) who have expressed their credulity that sexually molesting a 14-year-old isn’t an automatic disqualifier. They say they can’t believe it, and they believe it’s because of this president. I want to tell them not to be so fucking naive. Men have gotten away with sexually assaulting teenage girls since the beginning of the time, and not only have they gotten away with it, it’s been excused, justified, or even approved of in some cases.